Cadillac Joins the EV Fray

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Cadillac has confirmed last month the unveiling of its very own extended range electric vehicle. The technology for the luxury brand is based on what is standard with the Chevrolet Volt.

The new vehicle would be the 2014 Cadillac ELR, which is the production version of the 2009 Converj concept. The production models would be unveiled sometime in 2013.

The specifications are still sketchy and only official data disseminated is that the ELR would be a luxury coupe with an electric drive unit with a T-shaped lithium ion battery with a four-cylinder range extender. This range extender is actually an electric generator that would provide power to the drive unit. Upon depletion of the batteries, the generator would then take over to provide power to the electric drive unit, very similar to how internal combustion engines turns the alternator to create electrical current.

Many are of the mind that the ELR would just be a two door Chevy Volt. The key differences though would be the Cadillac luxury interiors and technological gadgetry. This would definitely add more weight to the vehicle. Another major difference would be the price tag, which is pricier estimated at the mid U.S. $50,000 range. This requires the use of expensive lightweight materials to work around the weight issues associated with the Cadillac brand.

Other features reportedly to be included in the ELR includes sound deadening materials and active engine mounts together with radar and camera based monitoring systems. Even with these ultra modern features, the curbside weight of the ELR should just be about a hundred pounds more than the 3,800-pound curbside weight of the Volt and all these because of the Volt’s weight saving measures.

It is also projected that the ELR’s range extending motor would be more powerful than the Volt’s 1.4-liter engine. The most likely choice would be the new four-cylinder engine from Opel with an engine displacement of 1.8 liters. This more powerful engine would allow for quicker charging time for the battery of the ELR as well as stronger drive when using the internal combustion engine.

The battery would be bigger than the 16.5 kWh of the Volt. The changes to add more charge would be done through the addition of more prismatic lithium ion cells using the T-shaped battery found in standard Volts.

Other signature features include the vertical LED headlights and taillights and the well-known trapezoid shaped grille that would be closed off providing better aerodynamics and greater fuel economy. The roofline has a shallow upward angle, providing great airflow over the top of the vehicle and continues all the way to the rear. This makes the vehicle look like the classic fastback models back in the 60’s and 70’s. The beltline runs from the front of each door to swoop to the rear to end at the uppermost end of the taillights. The chrome rims have seven spokes and is set on low profile tires.